CAFOD PRAYERS for Tuesday 6th February 2018

 

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Opening Prayer:

O Lord, open our eyes to your presence.

Open our minds to your grace.

Open our lips to your praises.

Open our hearts to your love.

Open our lives to your healing,

and be found among us.

                                      (David Adam)

My soul is longing and yearning,

is yearning for the courts of the Lord.

My heart and my soul ring out their joy

to God, the living God.

 

The sparrow herself finds a home

and the swallow a nest for her brood.

She lays her young by your altars,

Lord of hosts, my king and my God.

 

They are happy who dwell in your house,

for ever singing your praise.

They are happy whose strength is in you,

in whose hearts are the roads to Sion.

                                                (Psalm 83)

 

Scripture

1 Kings 8:22-23.27-30

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. 23 He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart.

27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! 28 Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today; 29 that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. 30 Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling place; heed and forgive.

Reflection

In John chapter 4, the Samaritan woman says, “you say that the place where the people must worship is in Jerusalem”, and Jesus replies, “woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth”.

Is Jesus echoing Solomon’s thought that “this house” could not contain the God of “heaven and the highest heaven”?

Do we put God in a box – a beautiful, precious metal box, lined with silk and with a lock and key? What does this say about our belief in God’s presence within and among us?

Mark 7:1-13

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honours me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’

You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honour your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban’ (that is, an offering to God)— 12 then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.”

(Note: This reflects the hostility between Christians and Pharisaic Judaism which was at its height when Mark’s Gospel was written in the 60s.  During Jesus’s lifetime, this opposition was not so obvious.)

Do we have a problem with man-made laws?

 

Intercessions

 

Concluding Prayer

Lord, you call us to discipleship and loving service.

May we be beacons of your light where there is darkness.

May we bring hope where there is despair,

fostering love and compassion

where there is hatred and division.

 

May we strive at all times to live simply,

finding joy in small things, content to have less,

so others might have more.

Mindful of our responsibility as stewards of creation, may we tread lightly on the earth,

respectful of all living things.

 

Rooted in faith, may we work together to make your kingdom of peace and justice a reality for all people.

       (Anne O’Connor)

Join us for Monthly Prayers at CAFOD Salford, Katherine House, every first Tuesday of the month. 

CAFOD Prayers – January 2018

Tuesday 2 January

1

Sign of the Cross

Opening Prayer:

He who comes

comes to us now

in the silence,

in the darkness,

in the confusion,

in the loneliness,

as Word and

as Light,

as Truth and

as Love:

Emmanuel,

God-with-us,

now.

                                       (Harry Wiggett)

Scripture      Numbers 6:22-27

22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them,

24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

27 So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

Galatians 4:4-7

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Luke 2:16-21

16 So (the shepherds) went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Intercessions

Concluding Prayer

God, our dayspring and our dawn,

we turn to you when we fear the dark

and all around us weep.

We pray you greet us with your shining light

that we may spread your warm embrace

and kindle the hope of Christmas

in all whose lives remain in shadow.

Come and be our strength, O Lord,

our hope and our salvation.  Amen.             

       (Annabel Shilson-Thomas)

Monthly Prayers – December

Advent

Introduction

What can Advent teach us about waiting?  First of all, we who are rich must open our eyes to the poor, who have no option but to wait. We must share their patient vigil as they wait for a more just world, and their struggle to bring it about. We struggle to diminish the length of their waiting.

Why does the Lord delay?  Why do the poor still have to go on crying out for justice, 2000 years after the coming of Christ?  Why does not God bring about a world in which all of humanity may flourish now?

We do not know the answer to that, but at the very least we must live with the urgency of the question.  Perhaps one tiny element of a response is in deepening our understanding of how God comes.  Our God is not a powerful, celestial superman.  The coming of God is not like the cavalry galloping to our rescue.  God comes from within, in our deepest interiority.

During Advent, we practise patience as we wait and watch for the coming of the Lord.  Like midwives gathered around the bed, we await the birth.  But God’s coming was not just the birth of a child; it was the coming of a word.  One might even say that it was the coming of a language.

It needed hundreds of years for English to evolve to the point at which Shakespeare might write Hamlet.  The language had to be formed by poets and lawyers, preachers, philosophers and peasants, by nurses and gravediggers, before it was ready.  In a similar way, it needed thousands of years before there was a language in which God’s word could be spoken in the form of Jesus.  We needed all those experiences of liberation and exile, of the building and demolition of kingdoms.  We needed innumerable prophets and scribes and poets, struggling to find words before Jesus could be born as the Word.  The Word of God does not come down from heaven like a celestial Esperanto.  It wells up from within human language.

Waiting for the coming of God is not, then, mere passivity.  We do not only wait with the poor, we share their struggles.  We must be attentive to the experience of the poor, so that together we gestate a language in which their hopes may find expression.  Then indeed we may have words into which the Word of God may come and find a home.

          Extracted from “Just One Year”, by Timothy Radcliffe OP

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